SAY WHEN REVIEW

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WHEN! WHEN! WHEN!

When . . . will they stop churning films out like these?

A little harsh but oh so disappointing. (NOT Kevin Sorbo Hercules DISAPPOINTED!)

Keira Knightley certainly does her best but even with a decent supporting cast; you can’t help but feel that the film doesn’t deliver enough romance, enough comedy and enough of . . . anything really.

So what’s it all about? In the throes of a quarter-life (What?) crisis, Megan (Knightley) panics when her boyfriend (Mark Webber) proposes, then taking an opportunity to escape for a week, hides out in the home of her new friend, 16-year-old Annika (Chloe Grace Moretz), who lives with her world-weary single dad (Sam Rockwell).

Knightley has already proven with Begin Again that she can deliver an American accent and handle a leading role with no qualms. She certainly delivers another solid performance which helps carry this lacklustre affair.

We start with the inevitable cheesy (and nauseating shaky hand held camera) montage of Knightley and her teenage friends having fun during their prom. A little unnecessary and overlong. That then skips to the present with Megan’s slacker plodding along through life. Flipping signs for her father’s business and constantly making up excuses as to why she hasn’t seen her career councillor.

A character I could relate to a little too easily. Her procrastination and immaturity becoming a bug bear for all who know her (Not that bit . . . I hope).

Ellie Kemper (Sex Tape) was probably the only high school friend who had any decent dialogue or actual substance. Constantly trying to control and push Megan to sort her life out. The sort of friend that we all have or (if you’re lucky) used to.

Her cringe-inducing wedding dance made for unsettling but laughable viewing. I’m never going to listen to Daniel Bedingfield’s “If You’re Not The One” in the same way again. But then again, I never liked that song. But that’s a different story.

The wedding was the perfect platform for Megan to hit breaking point. There was one unexpected revelation that I didn’t see coming which made for a surprise. The inevitable friends growing up and moving on spiel is playing to its heart content. Weddings, babies, etc. The usual guff.

However, it is at this moment that Webber’s Anthony (Scott Pilgrim vs. The World) decides to pop the question to Megan. Her response? She runs away while pretending to be on a life changing seminar, of course!

Taking some time to re-think all her decisions and frustrations, Megan seeks refuge in 16 year old Annika’s home. Moretz doesn’t do a bad job but her character is a little weak, in comparison to the number of meatier and more memorable roles she has delivered.

Once Megan meets Annika’s dad, the legend that is Sam Rockwell. Moretz seems to be pushed into the background. Only to pop back up when the story is lagging. Her subplot involving a crush on one of her high school friends was all too tame and horribly cliched.

Sam Rockwell was . . . pretty much being Sam Rockwell. Which just about works this time round. To be honest, his role was a lot smaller than I expected. He’s instantly likeable and very entertaining. He works well with Knightley and they have great chemistry. He also delivers some funny lines and a couple of (definite) improvised moments. You could tell the cast were trying not to laugh.

I was frustrated that Megan and Craig had to fall in love with each other. It felt forced. We know Megan was unhappy with Anthony but he wasn’t a complete tool. It just seemed unnecessary. It would have been more of a twist if they didn’t get together. The friendship would have worked better. Don’t get me wrong, K & R do just enough to pull it off . . . and make it bearable.

I was hoping for more of an examination of Megan’s quarter-life crisis, as a lot more people in their 20s are going through this sort of thing, but it’s all resolved a little too easily and with a simple and lazy fling? Run out of ideas, maybe?

The gags are sparse and not very funny. One involving an anorexic tortoise just came off hammy and rather pointless. I mean come on! What was the point of it? A bonding prop for Knightley and Rockwell? And the naming a baby after planets gag wasn’t funny from the first planet. We didn’t need the entire solar system named at us!

In terms of drama, there were some good moments. An awkward encounter between CGM and (the alluring) Gretchen Mol’s (Boardwalk Empire) negligent mother showed promise and allowed Knightley’s Megan to step up but a few sobering words and that’s it? Really? Anyone could have played Mol’s character and to be honest, thinking back the whole scene was a little pointless as she doesn’t make a reappearance.

There was a turning point nearer the end of the film that allowed the little drama that there was to finally kick off. BUT again it’s all swept under the rug and resolved d far too easily. Leaving us with a cliched and highly predictable ending. Flat and expected.

There were some good performances from the rather bland characters. I couldn’t believe Jeff Garlin from Curb Your Enthusiasm was in this. It didn’t seem right without him shouting all the time. He didn’t do too bad a job.

Kaitlyn Dever (Justified) was quite funny and did well as Annika’s mad BFF. Webber played the dimwitted Anthony well. A change from Pilgrim. Completely oblivious to Megan’s feelings but not fully deserving of her frustrated temper.

There was certainly no issue with the pace. It zipped along well enough. I just wish it had a bit going on, that’s all.

Such a shame that it’s not as hard hitting or as offbeat as you wish. A mess but a watchable one. Say When? When you have the spare time and nothing better to watch, I’d say give it a go. They may have changed the title to Laggies but I just wish they could have changed the content instead.

2/5

SEX TAPE REVIEW

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Like any sex tape really. Overhyped. Talked about by all your friends. And not as good or as dirty as you hope or think.

As soon as it started with the alluring Cameron Diaz effing and jeffing about sex. Cue a montage of her and Jason Segel (Forgetting Sarah Marshall) in numerous sordid positions in numerous places, I feared the worst. It was OTT, stupid but most importantly not funny. I can do random, silly, crude humour. As long as it’s funny.

To be honest, it only really kicks off when the duo inevitably make the sex tape to spice up their flailing marital sex life. If you’re lucky not to have seen the trailers then some of the gags in which the pair try and outdo each sex act, it brings the odd chuckle. Diaz has proven she’s game for a laugh in the past; There’s Something About Mary, The Other Woman and boy she’s still got it at 42. Wowewewow. Anyway . . .

I could get over the fact the pair were trying to act like 20 year olds in the flashback montage because Diaz and Segel worked well together. The film only really gets going when the actual sex tape is shared across a number of iPads through a naff syncing app. A ridiculous premise in which Jay (Segel) gives away all his iPads as a charitable gesture. But that’s only because I’m tight and would have sold them for a quick buck but hey, there wouldn’t have been a movie otherwise.

Cue an anonymous text blackmailing our guilty couple and a mad hunt to seek all the iPads and deleting said tape leading to a watchable if mediocre comedy. The supporting cast were picked perfectly. Rob Lowe was fantastic and in scene stealing form. How he did all it dead pan? I will never know. His obsession with Disney characters being an unexpected but much needed gag, helped ignite this flat battery.

Incorporating himself into every Disney picture around his mansion was completely random but hilarious. The heavily advertised Alsatian fight sequence with Segel was still brilliant. And to be frank, I was laughing a lot more than I expected to and the pace soon zipped along as the madness ensued. Segel’s spiel (Didn’t mean to rhyme there) certainly improved things and made gags and one liners work when they really shouldn’t.

Rob Corddry (Hot Tub Time Machine) and Ellie Kemper (21 Jump Street) were pretty good. Cordrry in particular, delivering some belters yet again.

Robby (Corddry): Who has sex for three hours?
Jay (Segel): We did!
Robby: That’s the length of the movie “Lincoln”. You did the full Lincoln.

A guilty laugh from me. An unexpected cameo from Jack Black was great. Black can do no wrong. Literally showing up  to spew some random porn site names. Should be dumb but funny. Desperation? Laughing at porn site names? Maybe.

Apart from the odd one liner here and the unexpected funny gag there, the rest of it does reek of desperation. Swearing, drug use and shagging thrown in to make up for the lack of . . . anything really. The kid actors were wasted (Not literally) and were highly unmemorable. Well it can’t be helped when the biggest kids in the film are the parents. Sebastian Hedges Thomas made the most memorable impression as the little sod (Trying to keep it clean) Clive.

The commentary and debate about couples losing their sex life as soon as they get married wasn’t a bad concept. We got a little tidbit of depth with our couple as Diaz and Segel juggle busy schedules, work and kids but it’s soon soiled by, “When shall we pencil in to fuck?”. Delightful. NOT.

It zips along and certainly kills 90-odd minutes. Not the worst film I’ve seen by the way critics are laying into this. I don’t know why snobby toffs would even bother seeing films like this. It was always going to be slated. Sometimes big dumb movies are a great release. Switch your brain off and relax. Unfortunately this one was killing my brain until the gags finally got going.

2/5 for me